Pre-Physical Therapy

A student helping another student stretch their arm.
The pre-physical therapy program offers foundational knowledge on the role of physical therapists in promoting human health and function through movement therapies. Gain scientific foundation to prepare for nationally recognized certification examinations and graduate programs. Pre-physical therapy students create a plan to declare an academic program and earn a bachelor’s degree. Nutrition and health sciences is an excellent major for those aspiring to pursue a physical therapy graduate program.

The Nebraska Difference


Graduate Admittance

In 2020, 81% of UNL’s applicants to physical therapy programs were admitted, compared to a 64% national average.



CEHS awards more than $200,000 annually in scholarships to incoming students.


1-to-1 Advising

Your assigned advisor will support you with academic planning throughout your time at Nebraska.


Career Coaching

Career coaches can help you plan for a meaningful career built upon your degree program.

Students observing someone running on a treadmill.

Program Features

Innovative Curriculum

Engage in challenging curriculum combining multiple sciences along with nutrition and health courses. This program provides comprehensive preparation for study at the graduate level.

Research and Outreach Opportunities

Conduct research alongside expert faculty on one of several nutrition and health topics. Engage in programming and make an impact across the state through the Nebraska Center for the Prevention of Obesity Diseases or Nebraska Extension.

Global Experiences

Learn about nutrition, exercise, food and culture in Japan or study the sports medicine practices of ancient Greece during faculty-led global experiences.

Students in a gym.

Notable Courses

Healthy Living (NUTR 100)

Learn about health risk factors, self-assessments and practical strategies for maintaining physical activity and healthy eating habits. Enhance awareness of short- and long-term risks for improved overall wellness.

Career Preparation in Nutrition and Health Sciences (NUTR 150)

Process of career preparation and planning. Philosophy and goals of academic programs, curricula, certifications, career opportunities and graduate programs.

Biomechanics of Human Movement (NUTR 384)

Anatomical and mechanical principles as related to human movement.

Physiology of Exercise (NUTR 484)

Effects of physical activity on the circulatory, respiratory and other physiological processes.

Exercise Testing and Exercise Programming in Adult Fitness and Cardiac Rehabilitation (NUTR 486)

In-depth development of prerequisite techniques and knowledge for certification in adult fitness and cardiac rehabilitation as prescribed by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Huskers Do Big Things


  • Volunteer research assistant, Nebraska Athletic Performance Lab
  • Volunteer research assistant, Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Wellness services assistant, Campus Recreation and Wellness Center
  • Physical therapy/personal training intern, Marva Sports Center, Spain


  • Physical therapy technician, Southwest Physical Therapy, McCook, Nebraska
  • Physical therapy technician, Lincoln Orthopedic Physical Therapy, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Personal trainer and bootcamp instructor, Fit4Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Teaching assistant, WeCook: Fun with Food and Fitness, Nebraska 4-H

Graduate Schools

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy, Creighton University
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy, Concordia University
  • M.S. Public Health, Tulane University

Have Questions? We're Here to Help

If you have questions about the Pre-Physical Therapy major or navigating the application process, contact us.

Portrait of Dijon DeLaPorte
Contact Name
Dijon DeLaPorte
Contact Title
Director of Recruitment